‘Changing the tide’-Quirky ‘back to the future’ film.

Wellington’s ‘Back to the future’ short film (6 mins) Time travel to Wellington, 40 years from now.  Thanks to this great work from ‘Film for Change’. See  how one mother responds to her child’s challenging questions, and the common struggles families have with the Climate change issue.

Share with as many friends as you can.  Climate Change can’t be addressed by one or two, but requires a mass movement, and a response from not just head but heart.

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Those who’ve watched it, have said it could be a good ‘conversation starter’ for schools.  Before creating a resource, we’d like viewers feedback . A small effort from you would be fantastic as it will encourage us to keep on at this job. Take 5 minutes to answer this  survey and support climate change awareness ?

The film has been invited to the environmental film festival mid May, 2017.   As part of preparing for that, I’m hoping to get responses to this 6 question survey (or 4 for children) preferably before 10 May  , but Still useful after 10 May. and if there’s anyone else you think of who may be happy to, please forward.

Introducing ‘Changing the Tide’ below (6 minute back to the future style film about climate change). Feedback on the film helps guide how it may be used as an educational tool.
1. View film  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NENY38Ptsn4
2. Go to the link below to start the survey.


See More

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Future focused

Listen to this biologist who shares frankly about the future outlook and how his nine year old daughter is an inspiration to him to keep advocating for change. http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ourchangingworld/audio/201811409/looking-to-the-future-with-biologist-corey-bradshaw

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Have your say in local body action on Climate change

Special post (until  October 2016) It is really important to have your say on reducing the city’s carbon emissions, so find out where the candidates stand on climate change action and make your 2016 local body election count.    More on this to come and the below post may get you familiar with some of the issues.

Below are the points we made for the submission on the Wellington City Council annual plan regarding Climate change.  A low-carbon city not only makes smart sense it’s also got the tick from the New Climate Economy who find that investing in public and low emission transport, building efficiency, and waste management in cities GENERATES HUGE SAVINGS  http://newclimateeconomy.net/…/press-release-low-carbon-cit…      WCC Submission Guideline 2016


It is good to see vision for a Low Carbon capital, with planning that will increase cycle-ways, electric charging stations, higher density building, ongoing smart energy challenges and phasing out minimum parking requirement. I like the statement “acting to reduce emissions helps the city as a whole” P.6.

When setting emission targets we need to keep mindful of

  1. If we don’t meet said targets, we will get further behind, and the damage to infrastructure, roads, seawalls, and coastline property will require further council funds and no doubt fossil fuel construction emissions to repair. Hence the targets are only realistic if we stick to them every year.
  2. The changing situation (as outlined by scientific consensus) and the need to adjust our targets if changing climate and sea-level rise predictions worsen.

With this in mind I would like to recommend the following action points from WCC:

  • Adoption of a reliable means of being accountable for set targets, preferably carried out by a non WCC expert body, with a meaningful system of addressing failure to reach targets. This is to help ensure WCC doesn’t continues miss it’s targets as occurred 2013, when the target of 3% reduction resulted in a 1.5% increase in emissions. (p.15 Draft annual plan). Investigation of why this occurred needs to be undertaken, and addressed. (p.12 Draft annual plan) states “Whilst we implemented or completed nearly every action point in the 2013-15 Climate Change Action Plan we still failed to meet our targets. This implies that our targets were not sufficiently linked to the actions that were chosen”. 
  • Given the accelerated climate change we are currently seeing, all targets should be checked with scientific experts, and the 2020 target is dubious. WCC have changed the base year to 2014/15 (previously 2003). This seemingly is used to justifiy a change from the original 40% 2020 target to the new 10-15% 2020 reduction. However emissions only dropped by 1.8% between 2000/01 and 2014/15, so we have 4 years to make up the 38.2% reduction to meet the 40% target that was set. So lets target 38.2% reduction by 2020.

If we never try to make up for the missed targets, it’s like a dieting person weakening their target weight loss after every failed diet..

  • Emissions need to be honest so inclusion of International aviation and agriculture are essential (Much produce consumed by Wellingtonians is grown elsewhere and transported to Wellington). Domestic aviation was 17.5% of emissions (2010) and 19% (2015), but didn’t include international, which stats (   ) show international travel rose by 11% in 2015/16. We are told there is no data, so lets get some.
  • A team of people dedicated to working with the community to provide accurate data, and positive options for Wellingtonians to contribute at a personal, local and national level to slow the rate of climate change. People need to be assisted to move from a mindset of unfettered consumerism and waste production, toward the real environmental cost of purchases, activities and waste. Making a difference to the transport emissions will only happen if there is an urgent change in people’s attitudes, expectations and behavior. An example may be a move toward more skype conferences rather than air travel where travelling is not essential
  • WCC to fully commit to divesting from fossil fuels in their own investment portfolio, in order to take a stand against Fossil fuel exploration and extraction. The books of Fossil fuel companies already have 5 times the amount of Fossil fuels capable of raising the global temperature by the critical two degrees. Dunedin City Council has already made the commitment to this, and we understand is currently being considered by Auckland Council.
  • Real Incentives be devised this year (not over the next 2 years as stated on p.25) for people to build sustainably, to reduce wastewater and waste.
  • Incentives should also be in place for decreasing vehicle usage and fostering cycling, walking and using public transport. Public transport should be significantly cheaper than car travel… at present many journeys are actually cheaper in a car. Whilst the plan quotes that one fifth of all vehicles should be electric by 2030 if we wish to keep 2 degree limit, developed countries ought to make the switch more quickly, as developing nations have less capacity to do so, and growing populations. Perhaps as cars come up for replacement, there should be more incentive/compulsion to replace with electric.
  • WCC work with regional council to put more effort and funding into creating a reliable, affordable public transport system including a green alternative to diesel buses. There needs to be a faster system to get across town than the half hour crawl up Lampton Quay, along Courtney place. Further exploration of the benefits of light rail, and avoidance infrastructure that may preclude it’s development as an option in the future Further separate bus lanes could be another alternative.
  • Better and safer Cycle routes for getting across town, especially East to West and South to North, considering separation from vehicles. Allowance for bikes on train at peak hours, given that many people use a bike for the trip between train and workplace. WCC to work together with existing groups who have expertise in these areas. Copenhagen for example has converted some roads to one way, with the other lane being used as a bi-directional cycly-way.
  • Actively discourage induced traffic by opposing the building of further motorway infrastructure within the city, and provide appropriate park-and-ride facilities on the city’s outskirts to encourage private vehicle users entering the city by motorway to park outside the inner city and use public transport or active modes within the inner city
  • Relinquish the airport extension plan as it runs counter to reducing emissions. No figures have been provided to back up the notion that somehow this plan will reduce emissions, but there are projected figures that indicate the opposite (2014 URS greenhouse gas report). If you add international flights but don’t decrease domestic how does that result in decreased emissions. Surely overseas visitors will wish to visit Christchurch or other centres whilst holidaying here. We should be encouraging people to begin reducing their air-travel not making it easier for them. Air travel is usually the largest emission source for the individual if they make one overseas flight to London equivalent per year.
  • The climate change initiatives must not work in isolation, but be supported by other arms/policies of council. The airport runway extension team, for instance, need to be working with the climate change team. See P13: Action on climate change mitigation and adaptation makes sense economically as well as environmentally.
  • Further thought also needs to be given to the needs for adaptation. How is coastal-lying infrastructure and residents being prepared for future changes.
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Veronika Meduna- a great read

Veronika Meduna’s new book at only 88pages was given to me at Christmas and makes a fascinating read, a good introduction to understanding climate issues with good NZ inclusions.V Meduna Antarctica RobMcPhail2_620x310
Quote from Veronika in the NZ herald interview 10th Dec.
“I’m equally optimistic that the groundswell in grassroots activism is an indication that more and more people are willing to make a difference. I’m encouraged by the fact that many countries, including Australia, are in favour of the goal to keep warming at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, rather than 2 degrees.”  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11558931
• Veronika Meduna is a producer for RNZ’s Our Changing World science show and author of the book Towards A Warmer World: What Climate Change Will Mean For New Zealand’s Future, published by Bridget Williams Books and available in bookshops or as an e-book. RRP: $14.99
– NZ Herald
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Interesting article on the dual problems of Climate change and terrorism by Harriet Lamb


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Many organisations and individuals are making the move to withdraw investments from Fossil fuels as this is one of the more powerful ways to exert influence. The Anglican church, Victoria University, Otago city Council…. help sway Auckland University to be the next. Sign the petition below.


In one week, the University of Auckland Council is meeting to decide whether they will divest the University of Auckland from fossil fuels, or whether they will continue to fund climate-wrecking industries.

The student representatives on the Council will present our petition as well as a report recommending full divestment at the meeting on Monday December 7.
We need your help to make the Council vote on the right side of history. Will you share our petition with your friends?

It takes the collective voices of those who care deeply about the University and a safe climate future like you and me to make ethical investment matter to Council members. By boosting our petition before we present it to them on Monday, they will see the urgent mandate for this issue. But I need your help.

Share this link SHARE ON FACEBOOK and TWITTER and say why divestment matters to you: bit.ly/fossilfreeuoapetition

The divestment movement is spreading rapidly around the world, as universities like Stanford, Australian National University and Victoria University of Wellington show their leadership and commitment to a sustainable world. But these are not just symbolic acts, as the Bank of England, International Energy Agency and the OECD are now recognising that we have to keep much of the world’s fossil fuels in the ground.

The University of Auckland has an opportunity to add its strong voice to this movement. Will it live up to its reputation as a leader in the Pacific, or lag behind?
Together, we can help the University to put its money where its mouth is and step up on climate change.
Let’s make this happen!
Ngā mihi,

Max and the team at Fossil Free UoA

Climate change is occurring at unprecedented rates, thanks in large part to the massive amounts of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere by the…
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….and a good summary of Marches around NZ at http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/290788/climate-activists-in-nationwide-protests

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March - save the humansAround 7000 Wellingtonians came from the streets, suburbs and surrounding districts to show that they want more action on Climate Change. It was a great atmosphere united message.
We stood before the beehive and heard Justin Duckworth, Pala Molisa and others calling for firmer action, NOW
Some of the Banners read ….
‘System change not climate change’
‘Save the Humans’ …. yes the planet will continue in some shape but it’s the humans that need to change.
‘Planet before profit’

Well done march organisers and all of you who took to the street !!!!March - enroute

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Law student going to court over NZ climate change policy

Friday 13th November 2015  The Wireless (also in NZ Herald, stuff, and radionz.co.nz. checkpoint)

Waikato University student Sarah Thomson is taking the Government to court over its climate change policy.

Photo: NZ Geographic

A Waikato University law student is taking the Government to court over its climate change policy.

Sarah Thomson, 24, claims the targets New Zealand is committing at an upcoming UN climate convention in Paris are too low and has filed papers in the High Court in Wellington requesting a judicial review of aspects of the Government’s climate change policy.

The domestic greenhouse gas targets are unreasonable and not in line with the current scientific consensus, and they should have been reviewed following a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) last year, she says.

“I’m going to be arguing that there actually is a legal obligation to set those reductions along the lines of scientific consensus.

“The Climate Change Response Act actually says in the ‘purpose’ section that any decision should be made in light of the climate change convention”, she told RNZ.

“We’re challenging the fact that Government hasn’t reviewed its emissions reductions targets, and that the targets that it has set for the convention in Paris are too low and unreasonable.”

New Zealand’s current proposed target ahead of the convention is to reduce emissions by 11 percent, based on 1990 levels, by 2030.

According to Thomson’s case, this target is “unreasonable and irrational”.                                                  She says New Zealand’s Climate Change Response Act requires the minister to review targets whenever the IPCC releases a new report, to make sure that targets are in line with scientific research and consensus on how to mitigate climate change.

There was no evidence any such review had taken place, which would mean the minister had acted unlawfully, Thomson says.

“I am fairly certain [that no review has happened] – all the information goes out onto the government website, and nothing has gone out about a review of that target.”

A spokesperson for Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser says the minister is seeking legal advice and was not in a position to comment further.


Thomson says she had not always been interested in climate change, but following it more over the last few months impressed on her the need to act.                                                                                                  “Just learning more about it has made me realise how important this is, to do something. It’s not really just the legal side of it, but also the human rights side and the environmental side of it too.”

Thomson says the best outcome would be that the Government is forced to set higher, more ambitious targets.                       In the meantime, she was happy to play the waiting game.

“We’re in it for the long haul – I’m keen to keep on taking it all the way through, and the lawyers are too.”

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Keep Wgtn buses clean. Sign Petition now. – see Transport page

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